Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Terrror with Jack Nicholson

I've seen this film before, many years ago when I was maybe ten.  There is an Erzebet allusion in it; a lovely Baroness dies violently, and her husband, played by Boris Karloff, is maddened by guilt.  I can't say more without giving it all away, but the "meltingly" beautiful Baroness haunts everyone and is stuck in a crypt attached to a tower in an old castle.  Sound familiar!! She is also dark haired and alluring, with mysteries associated with here.  The film was made in 1963 and was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and Roger Corman. Sandra Knight played the Baroness.

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Public Domain Image

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Prince Harry's Royal Wedding

Does the Royal Wedding date strike anything odd in your heads?  The date, May 19th, is the date another royal wife was beheaded in 1536; it is the execution date for Anne Boleyn, our own favorite.

Visit Hever Castle, her home, online, for all the events taking place there winter and Christmas.  I think the Royal Wedding should be held there; it is a sort of tribute.

Image result for prince harry meghan markle public domain
Public Domain Image.

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Doll Display Tutorial: How To Create A French Fash...

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Doll Display Tutorial: How To Create A French Fash...

Gorgeous video!  These are the dolls of Claudia and Madeline from Interview and the doll Jessie finds in Queen of the Damned!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Hitty's Halloween

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Hitty's Halloween: This wonderful Hitty was a gift from my friend, the paper doll artist and doll author, Steph Hammonds.  Hitty often goes to work with me and...

Monday, October 9, 2017

Dark Angel; PBS story of Mary Ann Cotton, Victorian Serial Killer

Nothing but husbands and children and demands, states Mary Ann Cotton in the PBS version of her life.  This less than excellent woman died on the gallows in England, circa 1873, for poisoning numerous people, including husbands, her mother, children, step-children, her best friend, etc.  So notorious was she, that a rhyme was coined in her name, "Mary Ann Cotton, She's Dead and she's rotten."  In "With Love from Tin  Lizzie, A History of Metal Dolls . . ." I wrote about a doll called "Hanging Mary," a mechanical doll on the gallows that was hanged.  Her eyes popped, her tongue lolled, and a funeral march played.  I've never seen the doll, but a noted collector and owner of a former doll museum in Galena told me about it.  He had seen one.  No doubt in my mind, the doll was about Mary Ann.

The PBS version of her life is chilling, yet sympathetic at the beginning.  As Colin Wilson has written in his books, including "The History of Murder," some murders, like Mrs. Cotton, killed because they wanted a better life.  She never, for example, missed an opportunity to take out life insurance.  Her parents insisted her first husband take out a policy on his life because she had lost 4 babies before she finally had three healthy children.  She liked the idea, obviously, especially after she learned that life insurance could be taken out on the life of a child.

In fact, she was not one of Barbara Pym's gentlewomen, and women of her working class did end in the poor house if they were widowed or encumbered with children.  Encumbered she was, with her children, with family, with step children, with money woes.  She couldn't seem to stay in a relationship long enough to make it thrive.  Life try psychopaths, she couldn't seem to see past her own needs. 
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The Real Mary Ann Cotton, Public Domaikn

Arsenic was her poison of choice, a poison that appears in much literature, and history.  Florrie Meybrick was accused, then exonerated, for the arsenic poisoning of her husband, whom some believed to be Jack the Ripper.  He, and other like him, was a drug addict, and apparently addicted to small doses of arsenic.

Mrs. Cotton was not sympathetic in this film at all; her main concern is collecting life insurance, and she comes off cold and unfeeling by the end of the program.  Desperate people do desperate things.  The most dispeicable prey ont heir own children, Rosemary West, Belle Gunn, Andrea Yates, and Sharon Smith.  Where is the rhyme or reason-- perhaps we'll never know.

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Public Domain Image

The Crime Library has a very good article about her, for those who wish to read more.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Theriault's Rendezvous,

Rendezvous, ah, what a wonderful word!  Tomorrow is yet another chance to bid on amazing, beautiful antique dolls!  There are dolls made in the image of Erzebet, and the other women blogged about here, so I include this announcement.

Don't forget to
 pre-register here.

Theriault's Rendezvous, Nights at the Auction, are conducted at Theriault's headquarters office in Annapolis, Maryland.
 Plan in advance, get registered, and when the auction is set to begin - 7 PM EDT - click the audio/video on button.

Join Theriault's for a fun and fast and fact-filled one-hour auction of great antique dolls. Just have fun and maybe bring home a doll. The dolls are all available for viewing and bidding online. You can leave pre-bids, you can absentee bid, or you can make a reservation to bid by telephone at the actual time of the auction. Or you can be there online when the fun begins and watch the live audio/video feed.
For technical help with bidding live online call Proxibid toll free at Theriault's Premier Line at 855-264-8262.

To receive notice of Theriault's auctions, go to www.theriaults.com and register to receive email notices. If you would like more information call Theriault's at 410-224-3655 or email info@theriaults.com.

To ensure delivery of any e-mails from us please add info@theriaults.com to your address book, contact list or approved senders list.

© Theriault’s 2017. All rights reserved. PO Box 151, Annapolis, MD 21404.



Monday, October 2, 2017

Doll Museum: Huret and her Friends; the 19th c. continues

Doll Museum: Huret and her Friends; the 19th c. continues: In "Old Dolls" (1950), Eleanor St. George writes that"There was one street in Paris, around le passage du Choiseul, that was ...

Anne Rice has written about these dolls.

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Girl of Glass and Snow and More

The Girl of Glass and Snow:


Feminist revision of fairy tales is not new.  Interpretation of any story is to be expected.  Literature dies without vision and revision. 


Pointing out the negative archetype aimed at older women in fairy tales is not a bad thing.  Remember, “older” could mean late twenties.  I was shocked last week at a wedding shower of friends whose family belongs to a strict religious denomination.  I heard comments describing her as an “older” bride.  She’s 26.  I was older than that when I married.  I must be a Methuselah bride.  Or corpse bride.  Another friend at 30 said she was called a Cougar.  My response was, “If you’re a cougar, then I’m a saber-toothed tiger!”


Seriously, I’m not considered old.  I still think the way I did in my twenties, and I don’t dress like I’m old. 


Yet, there is a stigma that is ancient against older women, however older is defined.  There is not enough room here to explore the hag archetype, and how it has affected literature, myth and history.  Certainly, that archetype was aimed at Erzebet.  When her husband died, she was somewhere in her 40s, wealthy, alone, of a different religion.  Other women in her position were also accused of witchcraft and perversion as she was, their properties forfeit.


The same thing happened to accused “witches” everywhere.  Our own Salem Witch Trials followed the same pattern.  The old, the poor, the healers, the single, the too wealthy, the outsiders, these were denounced.  Sarah Good, the pauper of Salem, is regularly described as an old hag, yet she was young enough to have a five year old daughter.  The best account is Marion Starkey’s, The Devil in Massachusetts.


On a PBS special of Walt Disney last night, I watched their account of the making of Snow White, and the implications of the magic mirror.  Mirrors are huge in feminist studies, and in the myth of Erzebet Bathory.  In a play by Velasquez, Las Meninas, the painter was brought before The Inquisition for a painting of Venus in front of the mirror.

The hag, or evil witch, and Maleficent, were straight out of the examples in Sheila Jeffries’ excellent book, The Spinster and her Enemies.


Older women, widows, those retired in late Middle Age, the Marcia’s and Leonora Eyre’s of Barbara Pym’s works, her Miss Clovis’ and Excellent Women, there has often been no room for these in societies all over the world.  Native American peoples in some cases left widows out to die among the elements. James Michener told their story in fictional with his novel, Centennial.  Some Hindu societies had them die on their husband’s funeral pyres.  Even well meaning modern societies for orphans and widows marginalize them.  They are usually older, over 25, let’s say, and may have property which everyone else is only too happy to divest.


The story of Erzebet is a cautionary tale, universal in its tragedy, embodied in our fairy tales and retellings of “Snow White.”


Monday, July 17, 2017

Night of the Living Dead (HD, FULL MOVIE, 1968)

RIP George Romero and Martin Landau

Two greats in the world of suspense and horror have left us today.  Night of the Living Dead is on YouTube, for anyone interested.  Making actors and films like this mesh today, it's Mission Impossible.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

American Housewife; American Erzebet

Imagine Erzebet as a child!   Tonight, on the rerun of American Housewife, it was Halloween.  Kat, the youngest child, wore a Countess dress a la our own beloved Countess, Erzebet. The standard Vampire countess dress appears in several sizes, children to adult, at Spirit of Halloween and Halloween Express.  Halloween enthusiasts begin the countdown to their favorite day, even as the reruns begin!

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: July Birthstone Celebration: The Rubies of Ruby La...

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: July Birthstone Celebration: The Rubies of Ruby La...

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Zombie Burger

Horror themed restaurants seem to be in style; this is the second one I've visited.  The other, "Igor's" held great promise with its Halloween and Day of the Dead Décor, but its customer service was funereal.   Zombie Burger, on the other hand, had a self service counter, but was shockingly clean with terrific burgers and cake themed milkshakes, just to name a few items.  The burgers were juicy, and the lettuce and tomatoes super crisp. There were many zombie artifacts, and a cute zombie baby. I suppose we live in apocalyptic times, and this little bistro put me in mind of one of my favorite horror books about a zombie attorney who defends a young vampire, called Pay me in Flesh. It's right up there with Jody Scott's, I, Vampire, a tale of an alien that is Virginia Woolf taking up with a young vampire.  

Hawkeye Zombie Art

Zombie Greeter


Movie Posters Repurposed as Zombie Art.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Happy 4th of July!!

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Happy 4th of July!!: The Star Spangled Banner Find all things patriotic at USA-Flag-Site.org Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light What so proudly w...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

For the People of England

John of Gaunt describes England


John of Gaunt:  This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,

 This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,

 This other Eden, demi-paradise,

 This fortress built by Nature for herself

 Against infection and the hand of war,

 This happy breed of men, this little world,

 This precious stone set in the silver sea,

 Which serves it in the office of a wall,

 Or as a moat defensive to a house,

 Against the envy of less happier lands,

 This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,

 This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,

 Fear'd by their breed and famous by their birth,

 Renowned for their deeds as far from home,

 For Christian service and true chivalry,

 As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,

 Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's Son,

 This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,

 Dear for her reputation through the world,

 Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,

 Like to a tenement or pelting farm:

 England, bound in with the triumphant sea

 Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege

 Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,

 With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:

 That England, that was wont to conquer others,

 Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.

 Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,

 How happy then were my ensuing death! 



Saturday, June 3, 2017

Tom Baker's Dr. Who; State of Decay

Watching this vintage episode, which includes a Macbeth type queen and king who are apparently ruling a planet of vampires.  The woman is very Erzebet like, down to her costume and mannerisms.  Their goal, of course, is to drink a time lord's blood.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Androids and The Nightstalker

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Androids and The Nightstalker: This was one of my favorite TV shows when I was in junior high. On the rerun tonight, kolschak, aka Darrin McGavin, hunted down an Android p...

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time features a countess-like Erzebet character in a new episode this week.  Time after Time premiers as a series retelling the story of Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes locked in a battle that involves time travel.

Teri Long, Long Gone Dolls

Living Dead Dolls, which made a Bathory doll, has several new dolls premiering, as does Mezco, the company that makes LDDs.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: For Valentine's Day

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: For Valentine's Day: May you enjoy a peaceful, Happy Valentine's Day, filled with glad memories of The Valentine's Box, conversation hearts, and loving m...

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Rosemary, that’s for Remembrance; In Memory of my Friend, Rosemary Rovick

Rosemary, that’s for Remembrance; In Memory of my Friend, Rosemary Rovick
Smile a little smile for me,
Rosemary, Rosemary . . .
Adapted from the song by The Flying Machine
Two weeks ago, I lost one of the closest friends I ever had, my beautiful Rosemary.  Rosemary Rovick was born in Northern California and lived their most of her life, though she graduated from Cornell Law School and traveled widely.  If angels walk the earth, then she was one of them.  We met when we were both externs at Santa Clara County Superior Court.  For nearly 30 years, we have kept in touch, traded confidences, comforted each other’s sorrows, teased each other, and supported each other.  
Rosemary was one of the purest, kindest people I’d ever met.  She was compassionate yet witty, and she could laugh at herself.  We teased each other, even while we suffered through incompetent supervisors, arrogant judges, snotty court personnel, earthquakes, and heart aches.  She would leave me notes on my desk that read something like, “Go and get me a truffle and a cup coffee from next door.  There’s a dear!”  And I would leave her notes calling her “Miss Toolbelt,” which was a reference to her love of travelling the world to build playgrounds with a construction company.  I also teased her about being so good all the time, and  she would say, “What is it you call me that I like so much, you know . . “  I would answer, “Sanctimonious and self-righteous?”  “Yes,” she would exclaim, laughing gleefully, “That’s it!”
But, she was tough and Uber-fair in her own way.  “Come on, Ellen; be a man,” she would say, when things became intolerable at The Court and I would rage. When I was being bullied by one of the judges and a supervisor, she alone of everyone interceded for me.  When I was ready to give up, I could drive to her house, sometimes driving at 1 am through the Santa Cruz hills on Highways 17 and 101, and she would be up making sour dough toast and coffee.
She called me when I came home to “Central America” as she called it, and often, because she said I made her laugh.  Rosemary loved hiking in Yosemite, and I used to say she and I were going to The Home together, and that she should look for a nice one in the national park. She was selfless to a fault, and I think that may be what caused her untimely death.  She opened her home to Polish refugees, roommates with no where else to go, her relatives, her friends, anyone in need.  I stayed there sometimes, and had sleepovers with her friends Shauna and Edie.  Edie worked for The Catholic Charities in Thailand and Cambodia, in a camp owned by the Khmer Rouge at one point.  The three of them wanted me to go with Edie to teach there, and I was game, until I overheard that night, as I lay innocently in my sleeping bag, who owned the camp.
“Rosemary!” I shrieked the next morning, “Where are you sending me?  Do you want me get me killed?”  But, I was laughing as hard as she was.  We joked about applying for a job for research attorneys in Micronesia.  We even had our work outfits planned, grass skirts, brief cases, oxford shirts and tweed jackets.  We walked on the beach near her house, and I was honored that she liked the ceramics I painted.  At one point, I did a black cat of her own kitty, Lucy, who was a wild child through and through.  I was honored and flattered that Rosemary wanted me to make it for her.   We used to walk everyday in San Jose, too, sometimes stopping for lunch at Sizzler, or our favorite Japanese/Ethiopian restaurant.   We walked through Japan Town, too, and she was scandalized one day that I took my jacket off to reveal a strapless dress.  “Put that back on!  You’re naked under that!”  “Rosemary,” I said, we’re all naked under our clothes!
Yet, she wasn’t a prude.  She had a quick wit and a wicked sense of humor, too.  The walls of one of our offices were paper thin, and the partner of a neighboring law firm talked fast and loud all day.  We could hardly think, let alone write bench memos.  “Watch this,” she said.  “I’ll make him shut-up.”  She then loudly asked me, “What’s your favorite fantasy?”  It got very, very quiet on the other side of the wall.
We saw Angry Housewives together, and laughed all night.  She liked giving presents and “shopping local”, and going to the farmers market and the flea market.  We both loved mysteries.
Rosemary was a Renaissance woman, who ran a marathon, played tennis at almost a pro level, scuba dived, gardened, travelled, read widely, and loved to eat out.  We both had a thing for Carlos Fuentes and the film with Gregory Peck, The Old Gringo. We also talked about trips we wanted to take, including a Sizzler tour of the world.  She collected Christmas ornaments, little bears, and tiny pieces of pottery.  She also liked to restore good furniture, and had a Morris chair that she was very proud of.  She and I sent each other man things, including Flamingoes.   My last Christmas present to her was a purse with a flamingo on it.  She was fond of saying the vintage flamingo in her yard had a skin disease because its paint was flaking.  In the late 80s, she negotiated to buy a light blue Honda Civic, using the blue book and getting an amazing price all on her own.  No man, in fact, no one, had to help her. Now, she is with her parents, her beloved dog that was half coyote, and her cat Lucy.
She lived a full, but short life.  Much too short.  Sometimes I want to call her number, just to see if her voice is on the answering machine, still.  She took care of a friend who suffered a stroke on one of their bicycling trips, her parents, Edie when she was dying, and Edie’s parents.   Even when she was so sick, she worried about me.  When she learned that I, too, was dealing with family elder care issues and catastrophes at work and everywhere else, she fretted that she wasn’t able to come to me.  “I should be there taking care of you” was in one of the last emails she ever sent me.  I don’t think she lasted two years after she first got sick, but she never let on how bad it was.  She fought and fought, and she never gave up.  It was as if she didn’t believe bad things could happen.  
She died on a Sunday; early on that Sunday morning, before I know, I had a terrible nightmare that she had died.  My husband woke me up, and said I was crying out and whimpering.  Well, at least on the inside, I still am.  Rest in peace, my beautiful, tall, blonde Rosemary.  The hard part is trying to go on with out you.   

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Darren McGavin and The Nightstalker

On tonight's episode on MeTV, Kolschak is stalking a female vampire, and she looks a lot like description of Erzebet, with long black hair and dead white skin.  This was my favorite episode, first seen in primetime when I was 14, and writing a report on Erzebet for health class.  I also did a large collage of her with real black hair from my own vampire Halloween wig, blue silk gown, a lace ruff, and in her hand, a tiny antique apothecary bottle holding red water.  She had long chains and pearls on, too. I'll unearth the poster sometime and show it to you here :)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

RIP: 70th Anniversary of The Black Dahlia Murder, a course on Anne Boleyn and PBS' Queen Victoria

On this date, ElizabBlack Dahlia Avenger, where he reveals belief that his father, Dr. George Hodel killed her, and other women. Hodel's late sister Tamar, was a friend of a friend.   Another alleged victim was the murdered mother of James Elroy, who also wrote The Black Dahlia, a novel based on the murder, and the basis for the 2006 film.
Elizabeth Short, public domain
eth Short, aka, The Black Dahlia was found dead in an onion field off Norton avenue in the Los Angeles area.  For 70 years, her murder remains unsolved. Her bisected, mutilated body was thought at first to be a broken mannequin, or big doll.   Many theories have been proposed for who and why murder, including Steve Hodel's

Our own Max Allan Collins also wrote a novel about Short, who disliked the name Black Dahlia.  Many are also familiar with the 70s TV movie with Lucie Arnaz. 

I have taught for years about this murder, and have my own collection of books, photos, and memorabilia, including some photos that lead to an interesting ebay conversation.


On another front,  there is an ecourse available on disk about Anne Boleyn that purports to teach the student everything there is to know about her. Anything like this is very interesting to those of us who study the Tudors, especially Anne.  Yet, I can't help but put out there that anyone who wants to know about Anne should ask me, too.  I have done extensive research, and am completely a historical novel about her. I have collected my resources and done graduate work on her, and began to study her at age 8.  There will be more interest in Anne during 20017, 500th anniversary of The Reformation, which involved Anne.   So, ask away.

Public Domain Image

On PBS tonight begins the series Queen Victoria, breathtaking, rather slow, and a little too much like a soap opera, but on the other hand, I'm glad the series is being made and shown.

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Queen Victoria, Public Domain

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Recent Finds

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Recent Finds:  Lately, I've slowed down collecting considerably.  I am involved in moving and finding homes for my other love, a library of book...

Sunday, January 8, 2017

2 Books of Interest; Happy 2017!! After the Funeral and History of Criminal Justice, Third Edition

Here are two books of related interest you will enjoy, and I also urge you to visit our friends at Terror at Skellington Manor:

Murphy, Edwin.  After the Funeral: The Posthumous Adventures of Famous Corpses. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1998.

I just started it, but there are great stories, not gruesome or "icky" about famous people and their after life adventures.  For example, we know for sure what happened to Eva Peron's body, and the tale of the 14th century Portuguese princess exhumed after 5 years to be crowned queen!  Well written narrative, intelligent, but easy to read.

Image result for after the funeral: the posthumous adventures of famous corpses public domain
Public Domain Image

Johnson, Herbert A and Nancy Travis Wolfe: History of Criminal Justice, 3d Edition.  2003 I used to teach this class, and the book is interesting just as a read.   When I taught it, there was reference to Erzebet, and an assumption that she was guilty.  I can't find that reference in this edition.  Hmm?  I'm going to reread the book and keep you all posted.  Could someone have read this blog, or Kim Craft, Tony Thorne, German Murderesses, and other books that seek the truth and delve more closely into the true story?

Image result for the history of criminal justice 3d edition herbert a. johnson nancy travis wolfe
Public Domain